Bottle Feeding

Brief Guide to Bottle Feeding

Breastfeeding is always best for baby. However, if you are not able to breastfeed or choose not to then you must learn the steps and process required for correct formula feeding.


There are numerous reason why you may not be able to breastfeed your newborn or infant. These have to do as much with your baby as they do with your own body. You shouldn’t feel guilty or inadequate as a mum as a result of switching to formula feeding. However, it is always best to consult with your doctor or nurse before you start feeding your little one using a bottle.

Following is a list of things that you will need for formula feeding your baby:
Age-appropriate feeding bottle and teat
Teat also includes a cap, collar and sealing disc.
Kitchen tongs
These are needed for handling all the required equipment. Use the tongs with handles that have silicon cover or similar to prevent burns. They also need to be sterilised prior to use.
Steriliser or Pot
Sterilising can include boiling bottles in a pot as well as special equipment that you can purchase for this purpose. These include electric and microwave steam sterilizers. You can also buy sterilizing tablets or a solution.
Kettle or pan
This is required for boiling water.

Several steps that you need to go through to ensure that formula is prepared properly.
Make up your baby’s feeds according to the instructions on the pack. The main points you need to remember are:

  • Thoroughly clean your hands as well as the general area that you’ll use for preparing the formula.
  • Clean and sterilize all equipment that you use during formula preparation and feeding. This can be done by boiling the bottle, teats and caps in a pot or by using approved sterilising equipment.
  • For five minutes, you need to boil fresh water in a kettle or pot and then allow it to cool down until it is lukewarm (around 45°C).
  • Measure and pour the appropriate amount of cooled boiled water into a bottle. This must be done before you add any formula.
  • Carefully check the instructions on the back of the pack for your chosen infant formula and follow these carefully. It is crucial to get the amount of formula right as adding too little or too much formula can potentially be harmful to your baby.
  • Add the correct number of scoops into the bottle that already contains your cooled down water. When scooping the powder, use a sterilised knife or the built in leveller to level off any excess formula. If using formula in sachets, just cut the sachet with sterilised scissors or tear it open and add the powder into the bottle.
  • Once you have put the teat and cap on the bottle, shake it briskly until the powder has dissolved evenly.
  • Make sure the temperature of the milk is warm. If it feels too hot, then you can cool the bottle by placing it under the tap with running cold water.
  • Check again on the inside of your write before giving to the baby to ensure it is a safe temperature.
  • Feed your baby immediately as soon as the mix is ready. The danger of leaving a feed for later is that this increases the chances of bacteria growth developing that can harm your baby.
  • Should you need to prepare formula in advance, refrigerate immediately and use within 24 hours.
Follow the instructions that the infant formula manufacturer has specified on the container. Be very careful about not exceeding the suggested quantities as this may lead to your baby becoming overweight.
It always pays to discuss feeding quantities with your family doctor or nurse.
  • Make sure to carefully observe your baby while it is bottle-feeding and never leave it unattended during the process. Preferably, hold your child while its feeding as this will prevent a number of potential problems from occurring.
  • Similarly, make sure your baby don’t fall asleep while bottle-feeding as this can harm their teeth.
  • Don’t add anything else to the formula mix or to the feeding bottle.
  • It is best to not heat the bottle in a microwave as the as the heat may end up being unevenly distributed in the bottle. This could be dangerous as such milk can burn your baby’s throat.
  • Never use expired formula and keep a close eye on the expiration date to ensure that any formula you use is always fresh.
  • Never reheat feeds that have been used previously. Dispose of feed that has not been consumed within a couple of hours if kept at room temperature.
  • Formula that you’ve prepared can be kept in the fridge but for no longer than four hours.
  • Dispose of any feed that has been refrigerated and not consumed within a 24-hour period.
  • You can warm formula from the fridge by using a bottle warmer or putting it in a jug or pan filled with hot water.